Housing Act 1996
1996 Chapter 52 - continued

 
  PART VI
  ALLOCATION OF HOUSING ACCOMMODATION
 
Introductory
Allocation of housing accommodation.     159. - (1) A local housing authority shall comply with the provisions of this Part in allocating housing accommodation.
 
      (2) For the purposes of this Part a local housing authority allocate housing accommodation when they-
 
 
    (a) select a person to be a secure or introductory tenant of housing accommodation held by them,
 
    (b) nominate a person to be a secure or introductory tenant of housing accommodation held by another person, or
 
    (c) nominate a person to be an assured tenant of housing accommodation held by a registered social landlord.
      (3) The reference in subsection (2)(a) to selecting a person to be a secure tenant includes deciding to exercise any power to notify an existing tenant or licensee that his tenancy or licence is to be a secure tenancy.
 
      (4) The references in subsection (2)(b) and (c) to nominating a person include nominating a person in pursuance of any arrangements (whether legally enforceable or not) to require that housing accommodation, or a specified amount of housing accommodation, is made available to a person or one of a number of persons nominated by the authority.
 
      (5) The provisions of this Part do not apply to the allocation of housing accommodation by a local housing authority to a person who is already-
 
 
    (a) a secure or introductory tenant,
 
    (b) an assured tenant (otherwise than under an assured shorthold tenancy) of housing accommodation held by a registered social landlord, or
 
    (c) an assured tenant of housing accommodation allocated to him by a local housing authority.
      (6) The provisions of this Part do not apply to the allocation of housing accommodation by a local housing authority to two or more persons jointly if-
 
 
    (a) one or more of them is a person within subsection (5)(a), (b) or (c), and
 
    (b) none of the others is excluded from being a qualifying person by section 161(2) or regulations under section 161(3).
      (7) Subject to the provisions of this Part, a local housing authority may allocate housing accommodation in such manner as they consider appropriate.
 
Cases where provisions about allocation do not apply.     160. - (1) The provisions of this Part about the allocation of housing accommodation do not apply in the following cases.
 
      (2) They do not apply where a secure tenancy-
 
 
    (a) vests under section 89 of the Housing Act 1985 (succession to periodic secure tenancy on death of tenant),
 
    (b) remains a secure tenancy by virtue of section 90 of that Act (devolution of term certain of secure tenancy on death of tenant),
 
    (c) is assigned under section 92 of that Act (assignment of secure tenancy by way of exchange),
 
    (d) is assigned to a person who would be qualified to succeed the secure tenant if the secure tenant died immediately before the assignment, or
 
    (e) vests or is otherwise disposed of in pursuance of an order made under-
 
      (i) section 24 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (property adjustment orders in connection with matrimonial proceedings),
 
      (ii) section 17(1) of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (property adjustment orders after overseas divorce, &c.), or
 
      (iii) paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 (orders for financial relief against parents).
      (3) They do not apply where an introductory tenancy-
 
 
    (a) becomes a secure tenancy on ceasing to be an introductory tenancy,
 
    (b) vests under section 133(2) (succession to introductory tenancy on death of tenant),
 
    (c) is assigned to a person who would be qualified to succeed the introductory tenant if the introductory tenant died immediately before the assignment, or
 
    (d) vests or is otherwise disposed of in pursuance of an order made under-
 
      (i) section 24 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (property adjustment orders in connection with matrimonial proceedings),
 
      (ii) section 17(1) of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (property adjustment orders after overseas divorce, &c.), or
 
      (iii) paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 (orders for financial relief against parents).
      (4) They do not apply in such other cases as the Secretary of State may prescribe by regulations.
 
      (5) The regulations may be framed so as to make the exclusion of the provisions of this Part about the allocation of housing accommodation subject to such restrictions or conditions as may be specified.
 
      In particular, those provisions may be excluded-
 
 
    (a) in relation to specified descriptions of persons, or
 
    (b) in relation to housing accommodation of a specified description or a specified proportion of housing accommodation of any specified description.
 
The housing register
Allocation only to qualifying persons.     161. - (1) A local housing authority shall allocate housing accommodation only to persons ("qualifying persons") who are qualified to be allocated housing accommodation by that authority.
 
      (2) A person subject to immigration control within the meaning of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 is not qualified to be allocated housing accommodation by any authority in England and Wales unless he is of a class prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.
 
      (3) The Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe other classes of persons who are, or are not, qualifying persons in relation to local housing authorities generally or any particular local housing authority.
 
      (4) Subject to subsection (2) and any regulations under subsection (3) a local housing authority may decide what classes of persons are, or are not, qualifying persons.
 
      (5) The prohibition in subsection (1) extends to the allocation of housing accommodation to two or more persons jointly if any of them is excluded from being a qualifying person by subsection (2) or regulations under subsection (3).
 
      (6) The prohibition does not otherwise extend to the allocation of housing accommodation to two or more persons jointly if one or more of them are qualifying persons.
 
The housing register.     162. - (1) Every local housing authority shall establish and maintain a register of qualifying persons (their "housing register").
 
      (2) An authority's housing register may be kept in such form as the authority think fit.
 
      (3) It may, in particular, be kept as part of a register maintained for other housing purposes or maintained in common by the authority and one or more other landlords, provided the entries constituting the authority's housing register can be distinguished.
 
      (4) An authority's housing register shall contain such information about the persons on it and other relevant matters as the Secretary of State may prescribe by regulations.
 
      (5) Subject to any such regulations, the authority may decide what information is to be contained in the register.
 
Operation of housing register.     163. - (1) A person shall be put on a local housing authority's housing register if he applies to be put on and it appears to the authority that he is a qualifying person.
 
      (2) A local housing authority may put a person on their housing register without any application, if it appears to them that he is a qualifying person.
 
      (3) When a local housing authority put a person on their housing register (on his application or otherwise), they shall notify him that they have done so.
 
      (4) A local housing authority may amend an entry on their housing register in such circumstances as they think fit.
 
      If they do so, they shall notify the person concerned of the amendment.
 
      (5) A local housing authority may remove a person from their housing register in such circumstances as they think fit.
 
      (6) They shall do so-
 
 
    (a) if it appears to them that he has never been a qualifying person or is no longer such a person, or
 
    (b) if he requests them to do so and he is not owed any duty under section 193 or 195(2) (main housing duties owed to persons who are homeless or threatened with homelessness).
      (7) Before removing a person from the register, a local housing authority shall comply with such requirements, as to notification or otherwise, as the Secretary of State may prescribe by regulations.
 
Notification of adverse decision and right to review.     164. - (1) If a local housing authority decide-
 
 
    (a) not to put a person on their housing register who has applied to be put on, or
 
    (b) to remove a person from their housing register otherwise than at his request,
  they shall notify him of their decision and of the reasons for it.
      (2) The notice shall also inform him of his right to request a review of the decision and of the time within which such a request must be made.
 
      (3) A request for review must be made before the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which he is notified of the authority's decision and reasons, or such longer period as the authority may in writing allow.
 
      (4) There is no right to request a review of the decision reached on an earlier review.
 
      (5) On a request being duly made to them, the authority shall review their decision.
 
      (6) Notice required to be given to a person under this section shall be given in writing and, if not received by him, shall be treated as having been given if it is made available at the authority's office for a reasonable period for collection by him.
 
Procedure on a review.     165. - (1) The Secretary of State may make provision by regulations as to the procedure to be followed in connection with a review under section 164.
 
      Nothing in the following provisions affects the generality of this power.
 
      (2) Provision may be made by regulations-
 
 
    (a) requiring the decision on review to be made by a person of appropriate seniority who was not involved in the original decision, and
 
    (b) as to the circumstances in which the person concerned is entitled to an oral hearing, and whether and by whom he may be represented at such a hearing.
      (3) The authority shall notify the person concerned of the decision on the review.
 
      (4) If the decision is to confirm the original decision, they shall also notify him of the reasons for the decision.
 
      (5) Provision may be made by regulations as to the period within which the review must be carried out and notice given of the decision.
 
      (6) Notice required to be given to a person under this section shall be given in writing and, if not received by him, shall be treated as having been given if it is made available at the authority's office for a reasonable period for collection by him.
 
Information about housing register.     166. - (1) A person on the housing register of a local housing authority is entitled-
 
 
    (a) to see the entry relating to himself and to receive a copy of it free of charge, and
 
    (b) to be given such general information as will enable him to assess how long it is likely to be before housing accommodation appropriate to his needs becomes available for allocation to him.
      (2) The fact that a person is on an authority's housing register, and the information about him included in the register, shall not be divulged to any other member of the public.
 
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Prepared 22 December 1996